“Go (YOU) therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded YOU; and lo, I am with YOU always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20)
“But YOU shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon YOU; and YOU shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)
These are Jesus’ last great commands to His disciples before the Ascension to heaven. The command was direct and pointed. The command was in the second person either implicitly or explicitly stated. It was not to passed to someone else to do it. Jesus wants each and every individual believer in Him to go out personally and share out faith with our friends, family, and everyone with whom we come in contact. There is “no passing the buck” in the Great Commission given by Messiah Jesus before He returned to the right hand of the Father (Psalm 110:1).
There is no Option B! For as my Baptist pastor father used to say, “If God would have wanted someone else (i.e., Angels) to do the Great Commission task, He should take us home the moment we become a believer in Jesus.” THIS IS ESPECIALLY TRUE AS IT RELATES TO JEWISH EVANGELISM!
Romans 1:16 states that the Gospel message is “to the Jew first” and a great many believers in Jesus and churches understand this importance of this verse … which is GREATLY APPRECIATED! However, many churches and believers do not realize that the work of Jewish evangelism is relational and personal and begins with them. Romans 11:11-15 states —
I say then, have they stumbled that they should fall? Certainly not! But through their fall, to provoke them to jealousy, salvation has come to the Gentiles. Now if their fall is riches for the world, and their failure riches for the Gentiles, how much more their fullness! For I speak to you Gentiles; inasmuch as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, if by any means I may provoke to jealousy those who are my flesh and save some of them. For if their being cast away is the reconciling of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?
Paul, who was commissioned by Jesus Himself to be the Apostle to the Gentiles, went first to the synagogue or wherever Jewish people might be when he entered a new city on each of his three missionary journeys (read throughout the Book of Acts). He went to the synagogue because He believed what He wrote in Romans 1:16 and because He believed that Jewish evangelism must be personal and relational to be effective. There is no Plan B in Jewish evangelism. There is no option of “passing the buck” and letting someone else do the work for you.
That is why I am concerned by two recent events that have come to my attention which detract from the personal and relational aspect of Jewish evangelism. The first is related to a Christian infomercial that has been airing for at least a couple of years now. Christians are invited to send $77 to a Jewish evangelist and he will send 7 books to Jewish households across the United States. These books are not solicited by the Jewish families and arrive in the mailbox as a surprise to them. And while there are stories of Jewish people coming to faith through this book (which is wonderful!), there are many more stories of Jewish families becoming angry over this unasked intrusion into their homes and creating a barrier to future attempts to sharing the Gospel in a relational and personal way.* The second impacted me on a deep and intimate level. A person who I still consider a friend, even though she no longer does because of my witnessing efforts to her, wrote in a newspaper article that once again someone has signed her up, without her approval, to receive materials from a Jewish evangelism organization. I am sure that whoever did this meant the best and only wanted my friend to come to faith in Messiah Jesus, which is also my daily prayer. However, this has only pushed her further away from the truth of Jesus. My heart breaks because my friend so desperately needs Jesus and I wonder if she will ever come to faith in the Messiah of Israel, Jesus of Nazareth.
We as believers in Jesus and churches who still believe in Romans 1:16 must stop looking for Plan B or the option of “passing the buck” for the task of Jewish evangelism is personal and relational and spelled out in Matthew 28:19-20, Acts 1:8; Romans 1:16; and Romans 11:11-15. This is the reason why Tzedakah Ministries exists — “To Equip His Church to Reach His People.”
For some churches and Christians are in the beginning stages of this Romans 1:16 Response Team journey (Berean Learners) and are simply learning about the work of Jewish evangelism. Some are ready to be prayer warriors (Elijah’s Witnesses) for the task or live in areas with a low Jewish population. Some are ready to be Romans 10:1 Churches and prepared to share their faith personally and relationally with the Jewish people. Regardless of where you are on this journey, please begin to be relational and personal in the task of Jewish evangelism. There is no Plan B or other option for this most important of evangelistic tasks.
Perhaps you would like to begin with the Day of Prayer for the Salvation of the Jewish People. It is a prayer outreach designed to encourage people to pray for the salvation of the Jewish people. There are devotional guide materials provided by Tzedakah Ministries to assist one in the work of praying for the salvation of the Jewish people. There are hundreds of people who will be joining around the world on this task. Tzedakah Ministries truly believes that this will change your world and instill in you a desire to reach the Jewish people with the Gospel of Messiah Jesus. For there is only Plan A. There is only one option — personal and relational evangelism. Jesus would have it no other way.
*Please Note: Tzedakah Ministries personally has approached another Jewish evangelistic ministry about this type of approach and encouraged them to reconsider due to the long-term damage it could do to future witnessing opportunities.